It was the middle of Smash Mouth’s set — the sun had set and the crowd was going wild. Over a crashing of drums and improvised guitar riffs that marked the ending of their song “Flippin’ Out,” lead singer Steve Harwell leaned over the edge of the stage and threw his hands in the air.
“We’re back,” Harwell shouted into the microphone, making the crowd scream even louder.
On Tuesday, the band came to John J. Burns Park in Massapequa as a part of the Town of Oyster Bay’s “Concert Under the Stars” program.
Throughout their career, Smash Mouth invaded the Top 40 charts, establishing them as a fun, upbeat band with a persona that attracted audiences of all ages. The band formed in 1994 and is famous for hits “Walkin’ on the Sun” (1997) and the pop rock anthem “All Star” (1999). On July 23, Smash Mouth released the title track off its upcoming album “Magic.” The album is set to drop on Sept. 4.
“It feels great to have a new song on the radio,” said Smash Mouth bassist Paul DeLisle. This is the first album the band has produced since “Summer Girl,” which was released in 2006.
From the moment they got onstage, Smash Mouth commanded the audience. The band played a variety of songs from their repertoire, mixing in lesser-known songs with their popular hits. The band even threw in a few covers — their version of the Kinks’ 1964 hit “You Really Got Me” included guitar and drum solos under hot, red lights.
“The atmosphere is incredible,” said audience member Joseph Mirabella, 20. “Such a great show to come out here to Long Island.”
For the Town of Oyster Bay, the concert served as a way to reach out to a younger audience while still maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere.
“We like to give a nice variety to our shows,” said Town of Oyster Bay Commissioner Maureen Fitzgerald. “It’s a way for us to appeal to all age groups.”
At the end of the show, Smash Mouth came down into the audience to dance with the crowd as they sang “All Star.” At that moment, the audience rushed to the front of the stage. Bubbles floated through the sky alongside some brave crowd surfers — a sea of people moving together, enjoying the music.
“Everybody loved ‘All Star’ when we were growing up,” said audience member Brian McKeon, 19. “This is childhood.”
Above: Smash Mouth bassist Paul DeLisle at the “Concert Under the Stars” concert at John J. Burns Park in Massapequa. (July 24, 2012)